Yann Martel

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Canongate reveals Martel's Holocaust tale

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BOOK NEWS
Canongate has exclusively revealed details of the forthcoming novel by Yann Martel, his first since the 2002 Man Booker-winner Life of Pi was published eight years ago. Entitled Beatrice and Virgil, the book is due for publication next June. It is being released simultaneously by Knopf Canada, Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau in New York, Text Publishing in Australia and Penguin India. The story follows Henry, who on being posed "a puzzle that he cannot resist" is pulled into the world of taxidermy, and the lives of the eponymous characters--a donkey named Beatrice and a monkey called Virgil. Canongate said the book, which tackles the topic of the Holocaust, "takes us somewhere truly unexpected and shocking", asking "profound moral and philosophical questions about the nature of love and evil". Jamie Byng, managing director and publisher of Canongate, said: "Life of Pi was always going to be an extremely tricky book to follow up, not least because of the expectations of Yann's many fans. "Thankfully, Yann has risen to the challenge by writing another exceptional novel, a wildly imaginative and multilayered story that engrosses from the first page and leaves you asking questions long after you have turned the last. I was stunned by Beatrice and Virgil and all of us at Canongate are enormously excited about taking this book to as many readers as we can." The publication will be supported by "an impressive PR and marketing campaign", which will include consumer and social media advertising, widespread media coverage, author interviews, an extensive online campaign and events and festival appearances across the UK. Retailers are now being invited to pitch for signings. Canongate has "high hopes" for the book, as Life of Pi remains the most successful Booker winner ever. The publisher repackaged the title this July, which Canongate said trebled sales when compared with the previous year....
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